Dishwashers are amazing things. If you don’t think so, wait until the dishwasher breaks down. Either that, or just try going without it for 30 days. I realize that you may not use a dishwasher and that you may be extremely good at staying on top of keeping your dishes clean. However, I am definitely not. I have a tendency to let them pile up, and a dishwasher can make a 30 minute job a 5 minute job. There is really a lot we can get done with a dishwasher with pretty minimal effort.
In Matthew 23:25-26, Jesus speaks to the Pharisees about a different type of dirty dish. “Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
If you think of a cup or bowl, it really doesn’t take a whole lot of work to keep the outside very clean. All you really need to do is be careful how you eat and drink. If a few drips get down the side, it is pretty easy to rinse and wipe away.
The inside, however, is another story.
If you are putting your dishes to good use, then you are eating and drinking from them. You are putting stuff inside of them. That stuff that you put inside of your dishes is going to make a mess. Even if you are a big water drinker, there is a thing such as backwash. Your water is eventually going to become a concotion of water and spit.
Its like our lives – if we are living life then we are going to make a mess. The cup and dish Jesus is speaking of is our hearts. We can be careful, we can look good, but we have to take a look at the inside of our cup and dish. There’s stuff in there, and if we are only worried about the outside then what is inside is just getting more gross. Bacteria is growing, and if we don’t clean it up then its going to affect others and slowly kill us.
Here’s another thing, there were no dishwashers for the Pharisees, Jesus, or His disciples. There was only the old school way of doing the dishes – you scrub and scrub until the dirt is gone. It is time consuming. Also, for many people of the time they had to wash the dish to eat. If they didn’t, they could make themselves sick. It wasn’t quite like today where we have cabinets and cupboards full of dishes.
One thing is still true – the dishes need to be washed. Even though we may have more dishes, it makes it more tempting to not do them. It makes it tempting to let the dishes back up, because we have more of them for tomorrow. The dirty dishes pile up in the sink, and if you don’t have a dishwasher or just don’t use it, well it can take awhile to clean all of those dishes. Every time that has happened to me I think, “Why didn’t I just keep up with it?!”
If we live our lives with dishes piling in the sink, then we are going to come to a point where we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I take care of this when it happened? Why did I do this?” The answers will be more painful because we have to deal with the mess we made on the way. However, if we take care of the dishes as they become dirty and confess to each other and to God, then we can keep moving forward and we will mess people and ourselves less sick from our dirty dishes.